Climbing Onwards and Upwards

When Ozzie celebrated his second birthday and was not walking yet, his mother Erin knew something was wrong.

Ozzie

Ozzie at the Climbing Wall

“After consulting with our family physician and different specialists, Ozzie was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy (CP),” says Erin. “That’s when his journey with Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre began.”

Spastic diplegia is a chronic neuromuscular condition that results in a high level of tightness and stiffness of the muscles, particularly in the legs, hips and pelvis.

“The muscles in his right side are weaker than those in his left side,” says Erin. “That affects his ability to walk and engage in other physical activities.”

Multidisciplinary care

Ozzie visits the Prosthetics and Orthotics Service to be fitted for special orthotic braces to enhance his mobility. He also receives ongoing physiotherapy through the Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation Program. Ozzie particularly enjoys the climbing wall, which helps build his upper body strength and improves his motor skills.

“Being able to climb is a rush of adrenaline for him and he enjoys the challenge,” says Erin.

Ozzie also joined a group of patients who ride scooters under the direction of a physiotherapist on a specialized wheeling track. The track has different surfaces and elevations to help children learn how to ride, which is a skill Ozzie plans to use as a Superhero Ambassador at the 2018 MacKids Walk & Wheel.

“I’m also grateful to donors.”

“Scootering has been great for him because it forces him to really stretch his leg muscles,” explains Erin. “He caught on quickly and soon he was having a great time zooming around the track.”

Into the future

Spastic diplegia has no cure, so he will continue to receive care at Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre throughout his childhood and teenage years.

“I’m incredibly grateful that Ozzie has access to these wonderful health care services,” says Erin. “I’m also grateful to donors who support the Foundation and make a real difference to patients like Ozzie when they need it most.”